Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Prophet CRM vs Business Contact Manager

A while ago I complained that CRMs are just too slow and unresponsive and support is always a headache.  Well the search for a decent and affordable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software program has led me to abandon Business Contact Manager and try Avidian Prophet CRM On Demand.

Well Prophet CRM has some features that I like:

  • Outlook integration (which I like as I’m also running LinkedIn for outlook which as CRM functionality too)
  • List management (includes grouping and filtering for prospect companies which takes a little getting used to but still quite effective)
  • More detailed and flexible reporting of pipelines, follow up dates etc
  • Reasonably good online tutorials
However I have found it has the following disadvantages:
  • Not free – and no free trail – I am using the On-Demand version at $20 a month.  The full personal version is $200.
  • Outlook only
  • Slow – although I’ve found this to be the case for all CRMs, particularly Outlook based ones which are resource hungry and web based ones which aren't AJAX or based on similar technologies.  Prophet appears to be just mildly faster than BCM
  • Website Enquires – have to set up manual Outlook rules to move enquiries into the Opportunity Manager folder (haven’t tried this yet)
  •  Contact sharing (Microsoft Exchange)requires Premium version $400
  • Automated follow-ups requires Advanced Edition edition $300
  • No timesheeting function
  • Can’t be integrated easily
Their sales crew appeared to be completely automated which meant I couldn't get great pre-sales advice.

Some specific bugs did rear their head, although their support seems to be active.  One in particular I found annoying was that although I could generate reports with data in Excel, the inbuilt functions of the Report Manager (preview and view) in Standard modes did not work.  No matter what I did, they came up blank.  However their support staff called me on the phone and diagnosed the problem, which was a conflict with Brother P-Touch's software.  They also provided me with some training and advice.

Despite the problems, Avidian seems to be ok and slightly more productive than slower online CRMs - Salesforce sucks and SugarCRM is ok, but in my opinion fatally flawed.


Anonymous said...

Good to hear some honest and first hand experiences. I am madly looking around for a suitable CRM for our company of 10 staff using MS Exchange. Outlook integration is high on the requirements list as I need all 10 to come on board for the new CRM system to work. After two weeks of research and listening to chest thumping software sales people telling me how good their CRM is and how it will change the way we do business I have narrowed it down to Prophet or BCM.

CRM said...

CRM .The Easy CRM Software for Outlook. Prophet simplifies contact management software, contact manager, small business Sales CRM Software. Prophet is the easiest CRM software because it is built INTO Outlook vs simply synching with Outlook.